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Clarksons: LNG Trade to grow by 11% in 2018

A comprehensive review of trends in the LNG shipping markets is now available from Clarksons Research. Steve Gordon, Managing Director of Clarksons Research commented, “Global trade in LNG has moved into a strong growth phase, with a 9% increase in 2017 expected to be followed by further growth of 11% in 2018. With 85mt of export capacity under construction and a further 169mt of export capacity with FEED underway, further positive trade growth is expected.”

Other highlights of the review include:

  • LNG trade represents 11% of global gas demand and 35% of global gas trade, up from 6% and 26% in 2000.
  • LNG trade grew by 9% in 2017 to reach 292mt, with further growth of 11% forecast for 2018 (2012 to 2015 averaged 0.3%).
  • With 85mt of export capacity currently under construction and a further 169mt of export capacity with FEED underway, further trade growth expected in 2019.
  • Australian exports accounted for 48% of 2017 growth, with US exports quadrupling to 12.2 mt.
  • Chinese LNG imports grew 42% in 2017 to 39m t, accounting for half of all trade growth.
  • There were 275 individual country-to-country LNG trade routes in 2017, compared to 168 in 2012 and 90 in 2007.
  • The LNG carrier fleet grew by 6% in 2017 in capacity terms to reach 531 vessels of 78.3m cbm, with expansion of 11% projected in full year 2018 and 8% in 2019.
  • LNG carrier orderbook totalled 110 vessels of 17.3m cbm and USD 22 billion by mid-2018, equivalent to 22% of fleet capacity.
  • South Korean market share at 70% of the orderbook by cbm, followed by Japan (21%) and China (9%).
  • Recent newbuild orders have taken the total for the year to date to 35 orders of USD 6 billion.
  • FSRU application increasing, with 37% of import capacity under construction expected to utilise FSRU compared to 9% of existing regasification capacity.
  • FLNG projects expected to progress to in the short-term, with the potential for further growth.
  • Short-term charter market conditions improving, with rates for a 160,000cbm vessel averaging $61,692/day in 1H 2018, up 64% y-o-y.

Source: Clarksons

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